Strategic orientations: setting fruitful objectives
Merger objectives should build on the assets, strengths and achievements of each University institution and build in their individual objectives so as not to interrupt current momentum. Institutions should think big, have high ambitions and strive to make the merger as successful as European mergers have been.
Our plan is driven by the following themes:
Education as a gateway to employment
The current job market makes it clear that universities must produce graduates with knowledge but also skills useful in the workplace. To avoid producing unemployed graduates,UM5 should regularly engage with regional employers and solicit their input during academic program development.
One of the main UM5 assets will be complete program offerings in all disciplines. UM5 will offer unique tracks and programs which will cement its position as the leading institution of higher learning in the nation.
Boosting research –Innovation through the merger of two giants
Research is one the areas that will benefit most from the merger. UM5 will have researchers in a wide range of fields enabling it torespond to societal issues and problems and spur social and economic development. We will set up multi-, trans- and interdisciplinary centers with the critical mass of researchers needed to produce high-impact research.
The scientific output of UM5A, the largest in the nation, combined with that of UM5S will advance UM5 chances of attaining international visibility.
Connecting to its socio-economic environment
It has been widely acknowledged that knowledge, the magic key delivered by universities,drivesproductivity. By producing knowledge, universities also play a major role in a society’s cultural development and well-being. Authors, thinkers, politicians, inventors and artists are all pure university products.
A university has the duty to allow students shine and reveal their talents as well as to produce engaged citizens. Initiative should be encouraged and achievement rewarded. Competitions should be organized and medals and prizes awarded, in particular for scientific disciplines for which there is reduced public interest and understanding. UM5 will involve itself in community life by organizing events and publishing materials of general interest.
In an increasingly competitive international environment, dominated by world rankings, universities are constantly seeking ingenious and innovative ways to assert their visibility and appear in these influential rankings. Our international strategy, a major component of our strategic plan, will center on faculty and student exchange programs, joint degrees, and mutually beneficial partnerships.
Establishing a managerial culture for governance
UM5 needs a new management system that will allow it to be enterprising, entrepreneurial and innovative. Performance and attainment of goals will be regularly evaluated on the basis of performance and efficiency indicators.
UM5 should start by identifying its room for maneuver in introducing management innovations which can only take root in a climate of trust, shared values, equal treatment and leading by example.Staff should be accompanied through the changes in the management system, the communication strategy, work relations and the organization of work.
Diversifying the University’s funding sources
Currently, 95% of University funding comes from the state. UM5 should reduce its dependence on the state and pursue an active fundraising strategy. We will target businesses, industry and local authorities through contract-programs and by offering a broad range of continuing education programs.The University can also raise significant funds by orienting research towards industry needs and fostering research commercialization.With its breadth of skills, it can also offer a wide array of expertise services, becoming a sort of consultancy firm.
Fostering student personal development for academic success
Student personal development invariably leads to student academic success. UM5 will thus empower students and endeavor to improve their learning and living conditions.
The merger will bring the total UM5 student body close to 65 000. For efficiency purposes, student services will have to be centralized and better coordinated.Student welcome, orientation, and follow-through will be reinforced to give students a comprehensive view of university life and education. Likewise, to give its students a rich and diverse university life and to foster emerging talents, UM5 will promote cultural and sporting events as well as club activities.
A quality approach based on continuous evaluations
In keeping with the recommendations of Law 01-00, UM5A and UM5S have developed tools and mechanisms, including a list of performance indicators,toappraise performance and to evaluate each of the three main University functions- teaching and learning, research and governance. To reach targeted performance, this quality approach should be institutionalized and structured.
The real improvement to this quality approach would be to engage students, the University’s main stakeholder. Students should be asked to evaluate course content, the quality of teaching and the overall learning experience.